The man who runs the Hernando Beach Marina agreed to plead no contest Monday to several charges of stealing from clients and withholding taxes. John "Rick" Ufnal, 47, of 6621 Harbor Drive in Hudson agreed to serve five years of probation and repay the victims, prosecutor Paul Norville said. He had faced four counts of grand theft, two counts of issuing worthless checks, and one count each of forgery, theft of state sales tax and failure to keep tax records. Ufnal will return to court in June after a pre-sentencing investigation. A judge then will decide whether to withhold adjudication. Deborah Ufnal, 45, who faced one count of theft of state sales tax and failure to keep tax records, agreed to plead no contest and serve three years of probation. Neither had previous criminal records in Florida. John Ufnal was accused of keeping money from boat sales that he was supposed to send to clients. The couple also withheld more than $18,000 in sales tax, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.
survive veto pen
All state lawmakers' Hernando projects survived Gov. Lawton Chiles' veto pen, including about $1-million to buy land for a Spring Hill campus of Pasco-Hernando Community College and $50,000 for streetlights in Brooksville. Other Hernando projects included $150,000 to build a swimming area or low-impact recreation area at Weekiwachee Preserve, $175,000 to form Boys and Girls clubs, $11,500 for improvements to the Spring Hill Community Center. Story, see page 1B.
The fashion show and luncheon to benefit St. Jude Cancer Research Hospital will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 9 at Silverthorn Country Club on Barclay and Powell Roads. An item in Tuesday's Briefly column listed two locations.
He's been nabbed
Dennis Lichorwic, left, is escorted from "jail" by Ann Marsh on Wednesday, part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Locked-Up for Jerry's Kids day. Volunteers are "arrested" and have to answer phones, taking pledges for MDA.